Ecollywood: Simon Baker’s mysterious use for newspaper
Plus: Three eco-celebs you don’t want to mess with — Chuck Norris, Pat Boone and Matt Damon.
Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 07:17 AM
GREEN AUSSIE: Simon Baker learned to be eco-friendly in his native Australia. (Photo: Lance Staedler/CBS)
Although he speaks with an American accent on The Mentalist, Simon Baker is from Australia, where he grew up green on the island of Tasmania. “In Australia we’re pretty conscious of it, always have been. It’s always surprised me, the amount of household rubbish that each house in my neighborhood puts out every week here, whereas in Australia you get one rubbish bin and one for recycling. There’s a bit more consumption in America.” Baker does his part in his adopted home by growing vegetables, driving a Prius and making use of yesterday’s news. “We wrap our Christmas presents in newspaper,” he says. “We’re a very conscious family.”
Pat Boone may be known best for the white shoes he wore as a squeaky-clean 1950s singer, but he’s pretty green, too. In fact, he was an early investor in electric automobile technology, as he revealed on the red carpet at the family-friendly MovieGuide Awards last week. “I saw this coming some 20 years ago,” he said. “We took Datsun 210s and turned them into electric vehicles. I was 20 years ahead of the curve.”
Still a big proponent of alternative energy, Boone is now looking into investing in a company that’s making compressed air cylinders to power automobiles. “I want to be driving one of the very first air cars,” he said. “Obviously there’s no exhaust whatsoever. We must develop these alternative energies. Nuclear can be safe, but air is the safest of all.”
Another Hollywood legend, Chuck Norris, confided that he can’t give up his gas-guzzling vehicles, but is making an effort to live green in other ways at his Texas ranch, where he uses biofuels and plans to incorporate solar power. “I’m still driving that big truck,” said the Walker, Texas Ranger vet. “We balance it in other ways.”
Kate Flannery (The Office) is also doing her part to help the planet. Wearing a wrap she got at Hollywood vintage store Ozzie Dots, she loves shopping second-hand and is a big believer in clearing out her closets and passing along what she doesn’t need to others. “I’m big on recycling clothes.” She also started a trash-recycling program in her apartment building. “Nobody was doing it, so I did. It’s a start,” she said, adding that her next car will probably be a hybrid.
And finally, Matt Damon hosts the latest installment of PBS’ Journey to Planet Earth, entitled “The State of the Planet’s Oceans,” premiering Mar. 18 at 8 p.m. The episode focuses the health and sustainability of the world oceans and their increasingly threatened ecosystems — and what’s being done to save them.
Stay tuned for next week’s Ecollywood column. In the meantime, check out our Ecollywood videos.